Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Vernal, UT– part 3

As most of you know, I am typically 3 – 4 weeks behind in my blogging.  For the first time (I think), I am 2 months behind!  I am currently in Colorado for a month, so one of my plans is to get caught up with this blog.

Another interesting thing I did while in Vernal was visit Fantasy Canyon.  It is in out of the way location, but worth it for someone who enjoys rock formations.

These rocks are between 38 and 50 million years old.  They were formed in a big lake that was in the area during that time.  The sediments of the lake formed shale and sandstone.  Since those 2 rocks erode at different speeds you get some very interesting formations.  The rocks above are probably 15 – 20 feet high.  Many of these formations have been given names, I believe the one in the middle is “Flying Witch”.

The one above is called “Witch Head”.  I didn’t always see why many of the formations were named what they were, but the one above was one of the easier ones for me.  See the big nose, and pointed chin!! 

Many of the formations looked liked parts of a skeleton, like the one above on the left side of the photo. In this photo you can see the differences in the sandstone and the shale and how they erode differently. 


For the most part, the trail stayed off the rocks as they are very fragile.  But in a few places you had to work your way around some rocks and formations. 

I enjoyed this area so much that I went twice during my stay.  It was in an interesting area, as you had to travel through oil and gas fields. 

One day, I drove up to the Flaming Gorge area.  I ended up doing the same hike I did a few years ago, which was a hike from one of the visitor centers.  The picture below was taken from one of the overlooks at the visitor center.

Above was taken from the Sheep Creek Overlook.

Another hike I did while in Vernal was the Red Fleet Dinosaur Trackway trail.  This was in the Red Fleet State Park and ended at an area where quite a few dinosaur tracks have been found.  I actually enjoyed the hike more than the dino tracks.

I saw the above rock formation several times from the trail and every time I thought it looked like something really big had taken a bit out of it!

Some trails are marked with spray paint on trees, well this trail had dinosaur tracks occasionally stenciled on the rocks so you stay on the correct path.  See the black footprint above on the lower left corner marking this part of the trail. 

They are hard to see in the photo, but above is a picture of a few footprints.  Below is another footprint.  I think this is one that was vandalized several years ago.  A ranger caught some kids throwing several of the footprints in the lake. 

I kept busy while in Vernal and can see going back again.  From Vernal, I worked my way up to Glacier National Park stopping a couple of places to tour the area.  My next stop was Dillon, Montana.  I’ll blog about that as soon as I go through a bunch of pictures of several ghost towns that I visited while in Dillon.


  1. Pam, did you at least ride shotgun on the Jeep?

    1. One day, they did offer rides through town in the jeep but I didn't take them up on the offer.